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Just A Lil Question

flightcheck Guest

This is probly a bit of a noob question.

But is there any advantages of winglets or are they just for show so to speak?

Pro Member Captain
Sean (SeanGa) Captain

if that was a dumb question, heres an even dumber one:

wtf is a winglet?

Pro Member First Officer
beerbadger First Officer

Extra lift is provided.

Pro Member Captain
Bindolaf Captain

Actually I think winglets (small vertical "wings" connected to the main wingtip) eliminate vortices created by the contact of lower pressure and higher pressure air (over and under the wing) at the wingtip. This way drag is lowered and the aircraft can (in theory) fly longer distances, as less fuel is needed. Personally I hate the way they look (there has been a thread about this Razz ) but I guess they are useful.

Pro Member Captain
Sean (SeanGa) Captain

Ahh.. of course. winglets!! I loved them before, but now I don't really care if an airplane has them or not.. and btw, I doubt they're very important - if they were, more a/c's would have them.

What are vortices? Or am I asking too much? Razz

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

SeanGa wrote:

Ahh.. of course. winglets!! I loved them before, but now I don't really care if an airplane has them or not.. and btw, I doubt they're very important - if they were, more a/c's would have them.

What are vortices? Or am I asking too much? Razz

Maybe this will explain why winglets are used on some aircraft.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winglets

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Winglets are indeed very useful, potentially, they have the ability to save a couple of hundred lives. As said above, they are vertical additions to the end of the wing to stop 2 types of pressure mixing. A wing vortex is basically a spinning coil of air, much like a mini tornado eminating from the tip of the wing. Doesn't sound like much, but an aircraft like a 747 going fairly slowly with full flaps, has been known to crash aircraft behind it, hitting the 747's wake. It doesn't occur too often as ATC provides correct separation between aircraft. As also said above, it increases fuel efficiency so is also beneficial to the airline, as well as people's safety Wink

Pro Member Captain
Sean (SeanGa) Captain

some aircrafts have winglets over and under the wing.. does this work the same way, more or less?

Btw, this christmas I traveled to canary islands, and the a/c had winglets. there was like a white stripe coming out of the winglet-tip. is this what you call a vortex, just that the energy produced by it is taken advantage of instead of increasing more drag?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Manuel Agustin Clausse (Agus0404) Chief Captain

Yes, that was the vortex.

Only some Airbus have winglets over and under the wing. Wait, the MD-11 has them too. It's just a different type of winglets, but it's only one.

Pro Member Captain
Sean (SeanGa) Captain

thanks

god damn I love this forum Cool

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

In a nutshell : Winglets reduce drag. That speaks for itself.

Depending on the design/aerodynamics of the wings/aircraft it is not always profitable to fit winglets.

Pro Member First Officer
JTH First Officer

So is it true to say that winglets are standard on 747s and A340s but carriers who order 737s for example have the option of whether they want winglets or not?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

JTH wrote:

So is it true to say that winglets are standard on 747s and A340s but carriers who order 737s for example have the option of whether they want winglets or not?

Not necessarily. Some aircraft have winglets, some haven't. It really is up to the airline as to what model and style they want. There are many 747's around that don't have winglets, but in something that size, it would be wise to have them Wink

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Some types of aircraft, especially airliners, have winglets, for example the Airbus A340, and the Boeing 747-400. Other designs such as the Boeing 777 omit them, because the gain available is very small and would make the aircraft just too large for a standard airport gate. The designers of the 777 considered folding wingtips to accommodate winglets, but in the end, customers decided that the extra complexity of the wing did not justify it. Recently, blended winglets have been offered as an aftermarket retrofit for Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft by Aviation Partners Inc., allowing these aircraft improved performance and efficiency characteristics.

This article explains it in more detail Arrow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winglets

Note: It seems that most if not all 747-200s do not have winglets.

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